Guide to the Raymond Carver photographs

University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz 95064


Finding aid updated in 2018.

Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Raymond Carver photographs
Creator: Carver, James
Identifier/Call Number: MS.130
Physical Description: 1 Linear Feet 1 box
Date (inclusive): 1938-1988
Abstract: A small collection of thirty one family snapshots of Raymond Carver's early family life.
Language of Material: English


Collection open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright for the items in this collection is owned by the creators and their heirs. Reproduction or distribution of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether a use is fair use, and to obtain any necessary permissions. For more information see UCSC Special Collections and Archives policy on Reproduction and Use.

Preferred Citation

Raymond Carver photographs . MS 130. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from James Carver in 2006.


Raymond Clevie Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon on May 25, 1938. In 1941 his family moved to Yakima, where Carver grew up, graduating from Yakima High School in 1956. On June 7, 1957, he married 16 year old Maryann Burk, who had just graduated from high school. In December of 1957 their first child, daughter Christine LaRae, was born. A son, Vance Lindsay, was born in October of the following year.
For the next dozen years one or both of the young parents were enrolled in various colleges and universities while holding a continuous succession of menial jobs. Carver wrote his first story, "Furious Seasons," while a student at Chico State College in California. After two years there, the family moved to Eureka, where he attended Humboldt State College, eventually becoming editor of the campus literary magazine Toyon. In the spring of 1962 Western Humanities Review accepted "Pastoral" -- Carver's first story published. The very same day, he received word that Target had accepted his poem "The Brass Ring" for publishing.
After graduating from Humboldt in February 1963, Carver moved to Berkeley, but by autumn the family had moved to Iowa City so he could attend the two-year master's program of the Writers' Workshop. They stayed only one year, however, before moving back to Sacramento, California, where Carver's parents were living. Financial difficulties continued, but he continued to write, and began to garner some success in getting work published. The next several years found them moving often, ending up in the Bay Area by the late 1960's. In 1970 "Neighbors" became the first of Carver's stories to be accepted by a major magazine, Esquire.
In 1971 he began teaching, despite finding it "a terrifying prospect." His first lecturer position was at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The following year was at UC Berkeley. During this time his drinking became more and more of a problem. In the 1973-74 academic year, he tried to teach at both the Iowa Writers' Workshop and at UCSC, without either school being aware he was teaching at the other. Meanwhile, his first collection of short stories, Put Yourself In My Shoes, appeared. Nonetheless, by the following year, when he was to teach at UC Santa Barbara, his alcoholism made the situation untenable and he was forced to resign. He continued a downward spiral, hospitalized for acute alcoholism on four separate occasions.
June 2, 1977, was called by Carver "the line of demarcation" between his "two lives": it was then he had his last alcoholic drink. It was too late to save his family life (he and Maryann eventually divorced but were already separated, and his children were estranged from him), but he soon recovered his ability to teach and desire to write. By the 1978-79 academic year, he held a writer-in-residence position at the University of Texas, El Paso. There he began a relationship with the poet Tess Gallagher, whom he had met the previous year at a conference in Dallas. They moved in together January 1, 1979, and they stayed together until his death in 1988. Jobs took them to Tuscon, Arizona, and then to Syracuse, New York, where Carver had his first permanent teaching post. Throughout the 1980's he continued to write stories and poems, enjoying ever-increasing success. Then in the fall of 1987 Carver was diagnosed with lung cancer, which by the next spring had spread to his brain. In June of 1988 he and Tess were married in Reno, Nevada. They returned to their home in Port Angeles, Washington, making only a brief trip to Alaska before Raymond Carver died on August 2, 1988.

Scope and Content of Collection

A small collection of thirty one family snapshots of Raymond Carver and his family from his earliest years to his death.

Related Material

MS 131 Raymond Carver correspondence

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Carver, Raymond, 1938-1988


Ella (mother), Raymond Jr. 1 1938


Ella and Ray Sr. holding Raymond Jr. 2 ca. 1938


Raymond and Dad (Ray Sr.) 3 ca. 1940


Raymond 4 ca. 1940


Raymond and Dad, Easter morning 5 ca. 1942-1943


Junior (Raymond) 6 ca. 1943


Raymond, James, Dick & Sue 7 ca. 1945


Junior (Raymond), James & MuggsJunior (Raymond), James & Muggs 8 ca. 1945


[Father, Raymond, Mother & James] 9 ca. 1944


[Raymond] 10 ca. 1944


[James, Raymond & Father - fishing] 11 ca. 1948


Ray & James 12-14 ca. 1946


Grandfather & Grandmother Casey, Ray & James 15 ca. 1948


Ray 16 ca. 1948


Ray, Toby the dog, & James 17 ca. 1952


Ray, Ella [Mother] and James 18 ca. 1952


Raymond, James, Grandmother and Grandfather Casey 19 ca. 1954


Ray, Maryann, James 20 ca. 1956


James and Ray on steps of Apartment 408 in Chico, CA 21 ca. 1956


Raymond, Ray's Father (C.R.), Aunt and Uncle (Father's sister and brother) 22 ca. 1956


James, Ray, Dad 23 ca. 1956


Ray at Chico State 24 ca. 1958


Ray and Maryanne at their wedding reception 25 June 7, 1957


Maryanne, Ray, Christy, James in Arcata 26 ca. 1961


Christie, Ray, Maryanne and James 27 ca. 1960-1970


James & Ray 28 ca. 1971


Raymond Carver 29 1972


Ray, Uncle Bill Archer in Yakima 30 ca. 1986


[Memorial photograph of Raymond Carver] 31 1988